House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly, after 132 days the Minister of Foreign Affairs does not get it either, that pork barrel boondoggles do not come in under budget.

The Auditor General does not approve them. They set up a slush fund with the three amigos: the mayor, the hotel manager and the minister. They blew through $50 million, often in untendered contracts, with no oversight.

I am asking again, the Auditor General said the rules were broken, will he stand up and commit to a full investigation of this rogue minister? Unless we fix the rules, this will happen again and again under his watch.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to correct the record for my friend opposite. None of the three individuals he mentioned approved any of the 32 projects. I did.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it took the President of the Treasury Board 131 days to stand up and respond to our questions. However, since he merely spouted a few silly comments, we were left less than satisfied, especially knowing that the Auditor General said that the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka was the one responsible, that he disobeyed the rules and that he concealed information during the investigation.

Is that why the President of the Treasury Board is seeking revenge and cutting the Auditor General's funding?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government fully co-operated with the Auditor General. Sheila Fraser did an outstanding job for Canadians. She reviewed the 32 projects where every single dollar has been accounted for. Every single dollar went for public infrastructure. Every single project came in on or under budget. The fund itself was under spent.

With respect to the Auditor General, the Auditor General saw the leadership that the President of the Treasury Board was taking to try to rein in government spending and offered to voluntarily participate. That is leadership.

Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, we look forward to you participating too.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister told us that all 308 ridings received infrastructure funding. But, clearly, being friends with the minister makes it much easier to get in on that slush fund. The mayor of Huntsville should know: 18,000 residents, $30 million.

Now that we know that the minister is able, or was able, to rise and speak, can he tell us if all ridings received a media centre that was never used by the media and a campus that is not being used by any students or are lucky enough to have a minister who never answers any questions?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would command the member to review the committee hearings on infrastructure where he will see the NDP member for Winnipeg Centre being quoted as saying, “I believe the money was fairly well distributed. NDP ridings did fairly well”, and I agree.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am addressing my questions regarding official languages and the commissioner's report to the Prime Minister. In his report, the commissioner clearly states, “Five years after amendments were made to the Official Languages Act, the Government of Canada has still not affirmed, loudly and clearly, that full and proactive compliance with part VII of the Act is a priority.”

When will the government clearly affirm that part VII and improving the situation of minority communities are still priorities for the Canadian government?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, here is a quotation from the report: “[Our government] systematically consults official language communities through working groups and federal councils, and when developing co-operation agreements with provinces and territories.”

This government is well aware of the needs of official language communities and it takes those needs into account during the development and implementation of these programs. These are achievements. These are results. This is a Conservative government.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday that Canada Post is going ahead with cuts to work hours in post offices in Quebec that are unfair and disproportionate compared to the rest of the country. We are talking about 53% in Quebec, while the average in other provinces is 4% to 8%. As though that were not enough, in the market assessment criteria, Canada Post was suddenly much more interested in the political affiliation of the riding in which the post office is located.

Is this 53% cut the Conservative Party's response to the fact that it was rejected by the vast majority of Quebeckers?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member's question.

The fact is that everyone who has a permanent job with Canada Post will continue to do so. There is some fluctuation in operations. This year there has been a reduction in postal demand in Quebec, but that just goes with the territory of a shifting market. Canada Post makes decisions based on its own operations. The government does not get involved.

The member should support the good work that Canada Post is doing.

Small Business
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Small Business Week, the situation of small businesses in the country is alarming. According to Industry Canada's most recent newsletter, funding for small business has levelled off since the Conservatives came to power. Business owners have to work extremely hard, but this government prefers to give enormous tax cuts to corporations, even though we know such cuts are ineffective.

Will this government listen to the NDP and lower the tax rate for small businesses?

Small Business
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I like hearing the NDP advocating tax cuts. The hon. member's argument is a bit awkward because, at the same time, some of his colleagues are advocating more government spending, bigger government and a larger debt. Instead of stimulating the economy, they want to give it a sedative by spending money that we do not have. The important thing for small businesses is that we have cut their tax rate to 11% so they can keep more money in their pockets and do what they have to do best: create jobs.

Small Business
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to see the government simply tossing quarters here and there for small businesses.

Let us look at something else. Under this government, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young entrepreneurs to get funding, yet small businesses are responsible for creating 60% to 70% of jobs. This situation is unsustainable, especially knowing that the youth unemployment rate is at a worrisome level.

Will this government finally introduce a job creation tax credit, as the NDP has been asking for?

Small Business
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the hon. member that I was in Montreal yesterday with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, which provides $15,000 loans to young entrepreneurs who want to start a business and create wealth.

By giving that foundation a contribution of $20 million in the last budget, we have enabled 1,000 young entrepreneurs across the country to create their own jobs, as well as jobs for other Canadians. That is what it means to support young entrepreneurs.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

October 19th, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government introduced the historic marketing freedom for grain farmers act. This legislation will allow farmers in my riding to market their wheat and barley to any buyer of their choice, just like farmers in eastern Canada. This is legislation that farmers want and expect to see passed by Parliament and it will modernize research in the grain sector in western Canada.

Would the Minister of Agriculture please tell the House what positive change the bill would bring to research and development in western Canada?